Heidelberg United has advanced to the next round of the Australia Cup, with a convincing 4-0 victory over Geelong SC.
The tricky road trip had no bearing for a strong Warriors outfit, looking to make amends for an unexpected early exit last time out.
With just one change from the Friday night match at Knights Stadium, it was a signal of intent from head coach George Katsakis.
The big selection news came in goal, as Brendan White – who re-joined Heidelberg in the off-season – made his first start in all competitions.
Nick Eres was performing admirably between the sticks, but White’s return will provide some very strong competition for the lead role, even offering a real headache for the coaching staff.
In the opening stanza, Geelong SC looked set to grab the early lead, if not for some heroics from White. He made a point blank save just a few minutes in – and kept a penalty out shortly after – to remind us all what he’s capable of.
From that point on, the Warriors took it up a notch to grab the ascendency. Deion Nikolaidis delivered a pinpoint cross for the second game in a row, providing Luka Ninkovic the chance to bury the opening goal of the night in the first half.
After the break, the Bergers continued their momentum, as Sean Ellis and Kaine Sheppard became a real handful.
The pair contributed to back to back goals, as Ellis crossed in to Sheppard for a header, followed up by the same play direct from the corner.
The final cherry on top was a late Eoin Ashton goal, who came off the bench to take his opportunity.
The Warriors will take confidence from this emphatic result and will be hunting another three points in NPL Victoria, as they take on Altona Magic on Sunday, March 27.
Geelong SC 0 – Heidelberg United 4 (Ninkovic 6′, Sheppard 63′ 66′, Ashton 89′)